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October 3, 2011

Senate Panel Urges Pentagon to Increase Troop Access to Chiropractic

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) are applauding a Senate proposal calling for greater utilization of the services provided by doctors of chiropractic within the Department of Defense (DoD).

The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations recently filed a report to accompany fiscal year 2012 spending legislation for Pentagon operations that included language urging DoD to expand the use of services delivered by doctors of chiropractic to troops in combat settings.

The language, included in Senate Report 112-77, specifically urges DoD to address musculoskeletal injuries, prevalent in the forward combat areas, by "increasing the use of chiropractic care" and "to expand the utilization of alternative medical treatment options such as chiropractic health care services at military treatment facilities to help mitigate these injuries."

"I am encouraged that the subcommittee recognizes that the services provided by doctors of chiropractic are vital to the well-being of our troops and that we are an essential part of the recovery process for many," said ACA President Keith Overland, DC. "I want to especially thank Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye for including this language in the report."

The report's pro-chiropractic language was largely in response to various media reports, including one earlier this year that received nationwide attention, stating that musculoskeletal injuries are twice as prevalent as combat injuries among deployed troops, and that musculoskeletal injuries among deployed troops have increased tenfold in the last several years.

The services provided by doctors of chiropractic are available at 60 military treatment facilities worldwide. The ACA and ACC are hopeful that the subcommittee's support for the services provided by doctors of chiropractic will spur further expansion of chiropractic's presence in both the DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

"The Association of Chiropractic Colleges welcomes this strong endorsement from the Senate Appropriations Committee for the vital role that chiropractic care can continue to play in addressing musculoskeletal injuries to our troops," said Richard Brassard, DC, ACC president. "Studies have shown what the chiropractic profession and the Department of Defense have known for years, that doctors of chiropractic are a key part of our military health care system that cares for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in times of war both here and overseas. We are honored to be a part of the DoD health care provider team."

While the congressional report's language does not have the force of law and does not compel the DoD to take action, such report language often initiates federal departments and agencies to take action based on congressional findings and requests. Learn more about ACA's action regarding federal initiatives at www.acatoday.org.

Source: American Chiropractic Association


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